Hepatitis C is a disease that causes inflammation of the liver. The virus that causes this condition is known as hepatitis C virus. Is hepatitis C contagious?
Studies show this blood-borne disease is highly infectious. Often, people ask, what causes hepatitis C? It occurs when cells in the body are invaded by a virus or other agent that causes them to swell and dysfunction.
What Causes Hepatitis C?
What Causes Hep C? The term hepatitis is derived from Latin where “hepat” means liver and “itis” means inflammation. The causal agent that causes inflammation is not specific. Although, hepatitis is said to be caused by a broad range of conditions such as autoimmune diseases. Inflammation of the liver can also occur from reactions caused by alcohol, medications, poisons or toxic compounds. Hepatitis C symptoms can be debilitating and deadly at times. Fortunately, hepatitis C cure is available and is highly effective.
Clinical Staging of Hepatitis C
Hepatitis C curable and can occur in two forms either acute or chronic. The acute phase occurs after initial exposure. Often, people in this stage do not manifest any hepatitis C symptoms. The chronic stage is an advanced phase that occurs after years of exposure. It can even take decades depending on the person. A prolonged case of disease is the one that results in the development of severe hepatitis C symptoms accompanied by progressive disease. Hepatitis C has several genotypes which include 1a, 1b, 2,3,4,5, and 6. These genotypes are used to develop hepatitis C cure as each dictate the course of treatment taken to cure the condition hepatitis C curable.
Hepatitis C Symptoms
During the acute stage, a majority of infected patients do not manifest any hepatitis C symptoms. Those who manifest signs and symptoms have them lasting for approximately 2-24 weeks. Some of these mild symptoms include:
- Upper right abdominal pain
- Light-colored bowel movements
- Muscle aches
- Fever and chills
- Skin itching
Chronic Hepatitis Development and Symptoms
Most of the patients with chronic hepatitis are said to have latent infection takes a long time to progress to active disease. Scarring and inflammation of the liver is the hallmark of the disease. Hepatitis C curable. In the event that treatment is not started in time, the condition can result in severe cases such as the development of hepatocellular carcinoma, liver failure, and cirrhosis. Death can at times occur when the liver is completely damaged.
Some of the hepatitis C symptoms associated with chronic disease are:
- Loss of appetite
- Joint and muscle pain
- Dark urine
- Yellowing of eyes and skin
- Easy bruising
- Vomiting blood
These hepatitis C symptoms show when the liver is incapacitated and cannot carry out its functions properly. These functions range from removal of toxic waste, drug metabolism, and the development of clotting factors. Other functions include storage of fats and vitamins and fighting infection.
Hepatitis C is transmitted through contact with an infected person. Close contact with insects or animals do not cause the disease. The virus that causes hepatitis is primarily found in blood. Although, it is also present in body fluids in minimal amounts. Currently, hepatitis C is transmitted among people through sharing needles with an infected person. Drug users are at increased risk of contracting the disease as they are prone to sharing needles. Previously, it was passed through blood transfusions due to limited screening tools.
Healthcare settings like clinics and hospitals also present an avenue for transmission of hepatitis C. Physicians and nurses who fail to follow the correct standard operating protocols when handling patients risk the chance of infection. Over time, they have been cases of infection among healthcare workers who accidentally pricked themselves with needles.
Organ transplantation can also lead to the transmission of the disease. Although rare, an organ from a hepatitis C virus-positive donor that infect the recipient. But, there are instances when an organ from an infected donor may be given to the patient. One of these cases is when then the organ can save the life of the recipient.
Hepatitis C can also be transmitted sexually. Sexual transmission often occurs when two or more parties engage in sex during menstruation or anal intercourse. Additionally, sharing toiletries used for personal hygiene such as razors and toothbrushes is risky. Mother to child transmission also occurs when a pregnant woman has a high viral load. Hemodialysis also enhances the transmission of hepatitis C. If the equipment used during dialysis are not well sterilized, a patient is likely to acquire dialysis-associated transmission. Hepatitis C curable.
A number of laboratory tests can be used to diagnose the disease before hepatitis C cure regimen is initiated. Diagnoses s based on serological tests after which a viral load test is conducted. People with a prior incident of the disease often have a positive antibody test. In advanced hepatitis, liver biopsy and microscopy may be done to visualize the extent of liver damage. MRI scans and ultrasound tests may also be done to evaluate fibrosis on a patient.
Hepatitis C curable with the latest antiviral drugs. Over the years, hepatitis c cure has gone through several generations of improvement. Before, it involved a combination of Intron A, Pegetron, and RibaPak. The first two were injected while the latter was taken orally. After the first generation of drugs, patients were treated with direct-acting antiviral (DAA) drugs. These regimens include boceprevir and protease inhibitors telaprevir all of which are taken orally. Research on hepatitis has yielded more superior drug regimens. Medications used today are based on the disease genotype. These drugs keep changing as research and development progresses.
Some of the direct-acting antiviral hepatitis c cure available in the market include:
Hepatitis C curable with these fixed combination hepatitis C cure drugs are:
- Ledipasvir sofosbuvir (Harvoni)
- Ombitasvir, paritaprevir/ritonavir (Technivie)
- Elbasvir grazoprevir (Zepatier)
A majority of these drugs cause mild side effects to patients such as fatigue, headache, and depression. Hepatitis C curable and of importance is that they treat hepatitis C cure works effectively to alleviate symptoms among patients